EAGLES SPLIT FIRST 2 GAMES IN CAMROSE
It was two totally different Canmore Eagles teams that took the ice in the first two games of their opening round series vs the Camrose Kodiaks.
In Game one on Friday night, the Eagles could not get a lot of things right and ended up losing the game by a score of 5-0. In Game two on Saturday night, the Eagles came back with a great effort as they took down the Kodiaks 5-3 to even the Best-of-7 series at one game apiece.
The Eagles started out game one with lots of jump , but after rookie Defenceman Emmanuel Hudson left the game after receiving a bad hit to the head from Kodiaks Forward Griffen Fraser at 6:56 of the first period, the Eagles could not capitalize on their 5-minute power play and after that the Kodiaks took control of the game. Kodiaks Captain Callum Gau scored the first goal of the game on the power play at 15:27 of the first. In the first four minutes of the second period, the Kodiaks scored three quick goals within 2:53 with Michael Horon (PP), Nathan Sullivan and Tio D”™Addario lighting up the lamp. Then at the ten minute mark, Gau scored his second of the night to make it 5-0 Kodiaks and that was it for goals in that game. The third period saw lots of curriculum activities after whistles with the two teams combining for 50 penalty minutes in that period alone.
The final shots were 37-23 for the Kodiaks. Despite taking the loss, Andrei Proctor-Ramirez played well in net and kept his team in the game making 32 saves.
Game two saw a much different Eagles team. The Eagles had a really good start to the game and were able to get the first two goals. At 8:42, Ethan Scheffer jumped on a rebound with Isaac Suppin and Lane Paddison drawing the assists. Then at 12:22, it was Mitchell Watson on a 2-on-1 to make it 2-0 Eagles. The Kodiaks though answered back later in the period with a pair of goals with Ryan Sullivan scoring on the power play at 16:08 and Roc Truman tying the game 2-2 at 19:24. In the middle frame, the Kodiaks took their first lead of the game with Logan Lorenz scoring on the man advantage at 5:08. However that lead was very short lived as 28 seconds later, Brayden Plaschewsky tipped in a beautiful cross crease pass from Carter Myrol to tie the game at 3-3. Austin Lusok also got an assist. The game remained tied until the 11th minute of the third period, when Schaeffer got the go-ahead goal at 11:03 for his second of the game. Suppin and Riley Dekowny assisted. Then at 12:12, it was Plaschewsky also getting his second game for the insurance marker to make it 5-3 Eagles. Myrol assisted. The Eagles then did a good job at shutting down the Kodiaks offence to preserve the victory and comeback home with the split. Proctor-Ramirez was great again making 24 saves and the Eagles had the edge on shots by a count of 29-27.
“I thought it was two different teams. In Game one we stood around and watched. Looked like we got outworked and outmanned. Tonight we did a much better job of being first to pucks. We seem to be a team that when something goes our way we play pretty well, so that was something we could see at the start of the game” says Coach Milne. Coach Milne had a lot of praise for his backend who were playing with a man short.
The series now moves to the Canmore Rec Centre for Games 3 & 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Puck drop for both games is 7 pm.
“I think we are really excited to get back at the CRC for playoff Hockey. It”™s always a good atmosphere in that building when we”™re back there ready to get and give the fans a show” says Eagles Forward Ethan Schaeffer.
AROUND THE AJHL PLAYOFFS: Two other series are going on in the South Division. One series opposes two teams that finished 40 points apart in the regular season, the 7th seeded Calgary Canucks and the 2nd seeded Drumheller Dragons. The underdog Canucks are certainly not giving an easy ride to the highly favoured Dragons, as the Canucks took Game 1 by a score of 4-0, while the Dragons answered back with a 3-1 win in Game 2 to even the series. In the other series, unlike the Calgary-Drumheller series features two teams that finish with almost the same number of points in the standings (2 points apart) the 4th seeded Okotoks Oilers have a 2-0 series lead over the 5th seeded Blackfalds Bulldogs. The Oilers took Game one 4-1 and Game two 2-1.
In the North Division, one series is tied at 1 game apiece, while the other two has a team in front 2 games to 0. The series tied 1-1 is the one featuring the 7th seeded Sherwood Park Crusaders and the 2nd seeded Fort McMurray Oil Barons. The Crusaders took Game one 4-3 in overtime, while the Barons responded with a 2-0 win in Game 2. The underdog and 6th seeded Whitecourt Wolverines are stunning the 3rd seeded Bonnyville Pontiacs so far as they took the first 2 games in Bonnyville by scores of 4-1 and 5-3. Despite enjoying a 2-0 series lead, the 4th seeded Drayton Valley Thunder needed overtime in their first 2 games to dispatch the 5th seeded Lloydminster Bobcats. Both games ended by the score of 3-2.
Games 3 & 4 for every series are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.